The Loudoun Freedom was formed in the summer of 2004 as an effort to provide an opportunity for a group of rising 7th graders to compete at the AAU level. There were few local options for girls in Loudoun County beyond a couple of small one-off organizations. As a former AAU coach of a previous organization, a middle school travel coach and high school coach, he was aware of numerous girls who were capable of and interested in playing at a higher level. They just needed teams and an overarching basketball organization.
The inaugural team began competing as a rising 7th grade team. It had 13 players that would go on to represent three different local middle schools, 7 of whom would go on to play at the high school varsity level. Between the fall of 2004 and spring of 2006, the original team would evolve around a successful core group that had been together for over two years. Even at this point, the Freedom was establishing its philosophy of attracting the best players from around the county regardless of school or region.
The Loudoun Freedom expanded in Spring 2006. The Freedom held tryouts for and formed four teams, including U12, U13, and U14 teams, and its first high school-ages (U16) group. The following spring saw the Freedom grow to five age groups, adding a U11 team. That summer the Freedom was asked to field boys teams and attracted over 30 kids and formed two teams. This effort continued into the spring of 2007 where the organization grew to 5 girls teams and two boys teams. The next step in the evolution of the Freedom took place in the spring of 2008 when 6 girls teams were formed, with a 3rd grade developmental team taking root in addition to teams in the U10, U11, u12, U13, and U14 age ranges. The Freedom was the primary umbrella organization in Loudoun County, attracting players who might have gone outside the county to play AAU basketball and ultimately supporting players from nearly every middle school and high school in the county.
The Freedom hosted the first annual Freedom Challenge tournament in the spring of 2010 with the goal of providing organizations a quality destination. Over its first two years, the tournament was a girls only tournament that brought around 35 teams to Loudoun County. Over its next two years, the Freedom established a regular date for the tournament in late April, added boys teams, and exploded in the number of participating teams. However, the organization returned to a girls-only format in 2014.
In 2012, the Freedom decided to hold its first "Fight Like a Girl" tournament in the fall in order to support women diagnosed with breast cancer.
More to come...